God Save Benedict Arnold: The True Story of America’s Most Hated Man

Tantor Media. Dec. 2023. 8:28 hrs. ISBN 9798350868944. $19.99. BIOG
Jim Seybert narrates Kelly’s (Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty) biography of Benedict Arnold like a historian: authoritatively, with compassion and a deep understanding of his subject. He fleshes out Arnold as a living person who had a tough childhood and was a resourceful, self-made man with a short temper, who gave all he could (money, time, and strategic brilliance) to the cause of American freedom. Arnold sensed that Lexington and Concord were the start of something different, so he jumped into the fray. Seybert conveys Arnold’s ability to collaborate and plan the capture of Fort Ticonderoga; his focused, relentless energy when leading his men overland to capture Quebec in winter; his quick temper when libeled; and his intuition that brought defeat to Burgoyne at Saratoga. Arnold’s disappointment in being overlooked for Major General and being subordinated to formerly junior officers is palpable. It is unfortunate that this American patriot was led astray at a time of weakness and at his ambitious, loyalist wife’s encouragement to sell out to the British during a financial crisis, as the British later viewed him as entirely dishonorable and untrustworthy.
VERDICT A fascinating new look at this enigmatic American Revolution hero/traitor, delivered objectively.
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